Facilitating "Do's" and "Don'ts"

Brief, practical tips for directing a small-group discussion

Are you a good facilitator of small group experience? Do you lecture too much…or let people interact too much? Is truth being taught or is it shared ignorance? How do we balance teaching and group interaction in small group experiences? Here are some suggestions you might consider.

  1. Do help people discover truth.
  2. Do stress application.
  3. Do help everyone participate.
  4. Do ask good open questions.
  5. Do keep discussion on track.
  6. Do encourage participatory learning.
  7. Do model a depth of sharing.
  8. Do create a safe place for discussion.
  1. Don't lecture about the truth.
  2. Don't center on facts alone.
  3. Don't dominate the Bible study time.
  4. Don't answer all of the questions yourself.
  5. Don't discourage discussion.
  6. Don't give all the answers.
  7. Don't stay with information & content alone.
  8. Don't allow criticism, the emphasis of wrong answers, unsolicited advice.

Effective facilitators of small group experiences will:

  • Encourage everyone to participate.
  • Pay attention to body language-90% of communication is nonverbal.
  • Make clear what group members are saying.
  • Manage conflict as it arises.
  • Be loyal to the small group process and manage it.
  • Not be the answer person and listen to others share.
  • Follow the Leader and curriculum.
  • Open up and share intimately.
  • Help create a safe place for others to take off their masks.
  • Make application to Life Change.

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